Tag Archives: Job

Job 34-36; Revelation 20

11Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. Earth and sky ran away from him and disappeared. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And the book of life was opened. There were also other books opened. The dead were judged by what they had done, which was written in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. Each person was judged by what he had done. 14And Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15 (ICB)
I’ve been enjoying cheesy Christmas romantic comedies the last couple of weeks. They’re light-hearted and they distract me from the difficulties in the day to day of life, despite being particularly predicable.
This week I watched  a new one, called “How Sarah Got Her Wings”. It was about a woman who died and had to come back to earth to get her name on the list to get into heaven. She was desperate not to got to hell, a place where the people look pathetic and forlorn like a row of wallflowers at a junior high school dance. So the manager of purgatory sent her back to earth to do something, anything to get her name on the list. It took her a few tries, but she finally figured out the way to get into heaven.
Though the movie was cute and enjoyable, I had to shake my head at the message that’s being sent by a movie which sets up the gates of heaven to be like a hip new restaurant that you need reservations for.
The truth is the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ and He’s the only one who can make certain that my name is in the book of life. It doesn’t matter how many good deeds I have done in my life. It doesn’t matter how many amazing things I do for other people or how many sacrifices I make before my life is over. What matters is whether or not I believe in Jesus-come to earth in the flesh-that I believe that He died on the cross, and rose again, and is now sitting at the right hand of God continually interceding on my behalf.
When and only when I turn my life and my heart to Jesus, will I be able to enter heaven when my time comes. My name will be in the book of life.
Yesappa, Thank You for choosing to lay yourself down, so that in death and in life we can always be connected. Thank You for the eternity in heaven that You made possible for me. Thank You for rescuing me from the pit of hell and writing my name in the book of life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation, Uncategorized

Job 1-3; Psalm 29; Revelation 10

Psalm 29 (ICB)
God in the Thunderstorm
A song of David.

1Praise the Lord, you angels.
Praise the Lord’s glory and power.
2Praise the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord because he is holy.

Yesappa,

You are glorious, full of power. I’m in awe of You. You are worthy to be praised. You are good. You are holy. You are full of righteousness. I lift my eyes to You and raise my hands in worship. I open my ears and my heart to You, trusting in Your grace, Your mercy, Your love.

3The Lord’s voice is heard over the sea.
The glorious God thunders.
The Lord thunders over the great ocean.
4The Lord’s voice is powerful.
The Lord’s voice is majestic.

I listen for Your voice in everything. I listen in the midst of moments of stillness. I listen in the midst of the tempests of life. I can find You in the quiet, yet Your voice is loud. I can find You in the thunder, yet Your voice is tranquil. Your voice can be heard no matter where I am. Your voice reverberates truth in my heart. Your powerful voice gives strength to me in my weakness and comforts me when I am feeling low, reminding me that I am Yours, I am the daughter of the King.

5The Lord’s voice breaks the trees.
The Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes the land of Lebanon dance like a calf.
He makes Mount Hermon jump like a baby bull.
7The Lord’s voice makes the lightning flash.
8The Lord’s voice shakes the desert.
The Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9The Lord’s voice shakes the oaks.
The leaves fall off the trees.
In his Temple everyone says, “Glory to God!”

Your voice makes the earth respond to Your commands. With one word, You can build up. With one word, You can tear down. Your voice changes things; it changes the world around me. Your voice changes me, changes my heart.

10The Lord controls the flood.
The Lord will be King forever.
11The Lord gives strength to his people.
The Lord blesses his people with peace.

You are in control. Nothing is too big or too small. You are King. You will reign forever in the heavens and on the earth. Your name will ever be praised by Your creations.

You are more powerful than the storms in my life, thunderstorms that threaten my safety. You give me strength to withstand. You give me strength to overcome. Your peace that surpasses my understanding rests on me and Your truth brings triumph.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings,
Julie (juliet2912)

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Job 37-39; Psalm 103; Revelation 21

We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;

but even though he is just and righteous,

he does not destroy us.

No wonder people everywhere fear him.

All who are wise show him reverence.”

Job 37:23-24

Elihu spoke correctly. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I cannot fully imagine the complete power of God. A friend of mine once said that even if God showed every one of us in the world a new facet of who He is every day, He’d still only show us the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

That, in and of itself, is mind blowing. And then on top of His righteousness, the depth of His character, personality, abilities, etc. is His love, grace, mercy, and goodness. He is a good Father, a merciful God. He is the Beginning and the End. He gives me life and calls me His own.

And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7

Though I am undeserving, He loves me with an everlasting love. He gives me everything I need and surprises me with more of my desires. He is full of forgiveness. He heals me, protects me, and gives me His strength. He redeems my life daily, liberating me, and allowing me to walk in truth and freedom.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Let all that I am praise the lord;

may I never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins

and heals all my diseases.

He redeems me from death

and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.

My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! Ps 103: 1-5

In the day to day hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget all of the good things God has done for me. It is easy to get lost in the mundane tasks and the chaos of busyness. It is easy to lose focus on what matters and let God slip into the background.

As David knew, the way to remember, to regain focus is to praise the Lord; to worship His name with my whole heart, with every fiber of my being. And, as I praise Him, I create a memorial to His glory.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me, showing me mercy, and giving me gifts of grace. Help me to remember the good things you’ve done for me. Help me to make praise more and more a part of my daily life so I focus on Your truth rather than my circumstances. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie,

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Job 4-7; Psalm 99; Revelation 11

“In the past you have encouraged many people;

you have strengthened those who were weak.

Your words have supported those who were falling;

you encouraged those with shaky knees.

But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart.

You are terrified when it touches you.

Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence?

Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope? Job 4:3-6

 

His friend Eliphaz begins questioning Job, reminding him of who he was and wondering why Job is not remembering his own words of encouragement for himself. Eliphaz  goes on to question why so many bad things are happening to Job and blaming it on sins that Job “must” be committing.

Though my trials are not the same as what Job experiences during his testing by the enemy, I have found that my own attitude in the midst of my personal trials mimics Eliphaz’ observations – I have moments when I lose heart, become fearful, forget my confidence in myself and in God, and feel hopeless.

There are days when I think I can’t go on, moments when I want to give up. I cry. I scream out loud. I ask, “why?” I succumb to the feelings of despair that have been building – which usually manifests in lounging on the sofa with a batch of warm brownies and cold milk, bingeing on my latest TV find.

After my pity party, I choose a trusted friend and ask to process, ask for counsel, ask for a hug; my eyes are once again open to the truth…I have been walking in my own weakness and not relying on God’s strength. I pray.

At least I can take comfort in this:

Despite the pain,

I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

But I don’t have the strength to endure.

I have nothing to live for.

Do I have the strength of a stone?

Is my body made of bronze?

No, I am utterly helpless,

without any chance of success. Job 6:10-13

Because I believe that God knit me together in my mother’s womb and knows every hair on my head, I believe that my circumstances aren’t a surprise to God. He knows what I am going to walk through and He knows the solutions to my problems. All I have to do is wait on His timing…patiently…for the answer, trust that God will bring me through, hold onto His Words for strength and encouragement.

I don’t have the strength of a stone nor a body of bronze, and without God I don’t have strength to endure. Without God I am utterly helpless without any chance of success.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your perfect timing. Thank You for helping me walk through the circumstances and keeping me strong. Help me continue to trust You and to fully rely on You. Help me stand firm in the knowledge that You are always with me, You will never leave nor forsake me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie,

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Job 31-32; Acts 13:1-23

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

“I am young in years,

and you are aged;

therefore I was timid and afraid

to declare my opinion to you.

I said, ‘Let days speak,

and many years teach wisdom.’

But it is the spirit in man,

the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.

It is not the old who are wise,

nor the aged who understand what is right. Job 32:6-9

The other day, while trying to get my kids settled down after a long day of traveling, I watched a rerun of Full House on Nick at Nite. It was a show I loved growing up. I was only a couple of years younger than DJ Tanner and I could fully relate to her experiences as a pre-teen and teenager growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

This particular episode was when DJ and her boyfriend Steve first realized they were ‘in love’. Danny decided it was impossible for DJ to be ‘in love’, she was just too young to understand what love is. He realizes through the help of his girlfriend Vicky that he feels like a teenager ‘in love’ and recognizes that maybe DJ could be experiencing the same emotions.

When I began reading the passages for today, that episode popped into my head again, reminding me of the friction that often occurs between the generations, especially when it comes to wisdom and insight.

More often than I’d like to admit, I fall into the trap of either believing that I don’t know anything, because I am young and don’t have much experience or thinking I know it all and not heeding the advice of my elders. I feel grateful though that I am in the position where I am in relationship with believers of all ages who are able to offer wisdom and counsel to me regardless of their age, in relation to mine.

it’s God’s Spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty One, that makes wise human insight possible
… Job 32:8 (MSG)

God makes it clear in His Word that age is not the determining factor in the amount of wisdom one has. I don’t have more wisdom now at 36 simply because I am 10 years older than my 26 year old self. I have more wisdom because I chose to give my heart and my life to Jesus, I chose to follow Him.

Wisdom and insight into life, circumstances, and the question ‘why’ in the midst of joy and trials, comes from His Spirit living in me. It stems from fearing Him and following Him. It comes from asking for His understanding, studying His Word, being prayerful, and listening for His Voice. It comes from heeding godly encouragement coming from other brothers and sisters in Christ.

My desire is that more and more, as I walk with God and His people, I recognize more and more His truth. And, that I remember that truth may come from the mouth of a grandmotherly figure or from the mouth of babes.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your Wisdom and Your insight that is breathed into me by Your Spirit. Thank You for breathing it into all believers who truly fear You. Help me recognize Your wisdom when I hear it, and teach me to be discerning without making preconceived judgment. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Job 13, 14, 15; Acts 8:26-40

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. Acts 8:35-38

It took me a while to decide to get baptized after becoming a true believer.

I wasn’t convinced, because I had been wounded in the past. And when I started thinking about it again, the feelings of rejection that I felt because a pastor had told me he wouldn’t baptize me when I had asked to be, reared their ugly head and I got scared.

The church that I was attending at the time held baptisms in the summer when the pools were opened. Everyone gathered as a family in Christ and we had a big picnic. Before the merriment ended, we gathered around the pool and celebrated with those people who had decided to show their commitment to Christ through the symbol of baptism.

Before the scheduled day, I approached one of the pastors and we talked. I realized that this time it really was my choice, because it was my walk with God. I was re-introduced to the New Testament passages that discuss and demonstrate baptism; and the story of Philip and the Ethiopian really stood out to me.

Simplicity of faith, no nerves, no fear.

There is water, so let’s do this, right here, right now.

The passage gave me courage to ask the question myself – is there any reason I shouldn’t be baptized?

I decided there wasn’t any reason not to. I believed with my heart and confessed with my mouth. I wanted to show the world my choice to follow God.

My baptism experience was unique, not in the action itself, but in the participants. My church believed that it was important to involve the person who helped me begin walking my journey with the Lord. And so, just a few months before he died, my brother, who was integral in me finding out who Jesus really is, baptized me, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

In India, baptisms happen, but are rare. It is the active confession of a person’s faith in Christ, and their complete renunciation of the Hindu gods. Many Christians who seek to be baptized will be punished by their non-believing family members. Recently, a new believer in our church was threatened with rejection and homelessness by her brother, for planning to be baptized. Unfortunately, she was bullied into changing her mind, and did not follow through with her plan.

I feel blessed to be in a country where the freedom of religion is still comparatively protected. I feel blessed to be in a place where I could ask the question – is there anything stopping me from being baptized – and answer no. I feel blessed to have had the support of family and friend in my decision. The day I was baptized, though the heavens didn’t open up, and a dove appear above me, I did hear God say, this is my daughter, and I am pleased with her.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Exodus 23, John 2, Job 41, 2 Corinthians 11

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you to do.” John 2:5 (NCV)

God gave me freedom and He gave me free will. Because His desire is for love and relationship, He opened His hands, wrote my name on His palm, and relinquished control over my life. I can choose to live according to my own plan, following self, aligning myself with sin; or I can choose to be showered by His love, enveloped in His grace.

Because of the New Covenant made real by the sacrifice of Christ, I no longer have to follow the long lists of “you musts…” recorded in Exodus. I am no longer bound by Mosaic Law.

There were so many things that were supposed to be done or not supposed to be done; I can’t even keep them all straight. I acknowledge that it is completely impossible to live by the letter of the law. Even the priests, who were the only ones who knew the whole of the law, were hard pressed to be obedient to every dotted ‘i’ and every crossed ‘t’.

However, His sacrifice of death to life means I no longer need to fear the enemy, a leviathan of evil. My past sin is forever forgiven at the cross and buried in the tomb never to rise again. Though I may be tempted, His Spirit which dwells within me gives me the strength to stand separated from sin. Though I may fall into sin, rather than condemnation, I receive mercy and absolution; and I receive liberation once more.

I am given liberty to make my own choices. And, as a believer in Christ, I choose to honor God’s will and obey His Word. I make a choice to do my best to “do whatever He tells me to.”

My hope is in Him, the Only True Living God who is above all. There is no one greater in all of the universe and no one who sees the big picture, the whole picture of His Kingdom Come more than the Creator.

He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is to be praised forever. 2 Corinthians 11:31b (NCV)

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament